Getting to the gym first thing in the morning is often much easier said than done. It can be more appealing to roll back under the covers rather than strap on your shoes for a pre-work run.
Kicking off your day with a workout may help you lose more fat, reduce your desire to ingest excessive calories throughout the day, lower your blood pressure and can help you to sleep better at night. So how do you make that early exercise happen? It all starts with how you prepare the night before.
HuffPost chatted with some experts to uncover the best ways to prep for your morning workout at night. Here’s what you can do before bed to ensure that you make it with zero excuses:
1. Get your clothes ready
“Sleep in your workout clothes so all you have to do is wash your face, brush your teeth, get your butt in the car and just go,” suggested Ron “Boss” Everline, a celebrity personal trainer and co-star of the YouTube Original series “What the Fit” on Laugh Out Loud’s YouTube channel.
If sleeping in your exercise tank isn’t up your alley, try at least packing your gym bag the night before, said Andrea Fornarola Hunsberger founder of Elements Fitness. “Put it by the door and have it ready to grab in the morning,” she said.
And when it comes down to deciding what to wear, dress for success. “Pick out a workout outfit that makes you feel powerful to get moving,” said Sandy Liang, a certified personal trainer at Crunch Fitness in New York.
2. Keep your finger off the snooze button
Make your bedroom a snooze-free zone by keeping your alarm out of arm’s reach.
“Set your alarm clock and put it on the other side of the room,” Everline advised. “When it goes off in the morning, you’ll have to get up out of the bed and turn it off.”
Krickit Hodges, co-founder of GoTRIBE, a global online personal training company, also stressed that hitting snooze is a bad habit when it comes to morning exercise. She added that you should try to get out of bed within a few seconds of your alarm going off.
“When you set your alarm at night, set it to one of your favorite jams to pump you up,” Hodges said. “I have ‘Eye of the Tiger.’”
3. Eat a smart dinner
“Avoid eating heavy meals too late at night,” said David Greuner, a cardiovascular surgeon and co-founder of NYC Surgical Associates. Greuner recommended aiming for an earlier dinner to facilitate waking up refreshed and ready to train in the morning.
“Aside from possible heartburn and indigestion, overeating later at night can leave you prone to feeling lethargic in the morning and more inclined to skip your workout,” he explained. “Digestion takes about six to eight hours so last night’s big meal may still be sitting in your stomach the next morning.” An ideal, smart dinner that can help fuel you consists of something like brown rice, steamed broccoli and lean protein, he said.
4. Prep your tech
“Make sure the electronics you use during your workout are fully charged,” said celebrity fitness trainer Tadeo Arnold. “That could be your wireless earphones or iPhone, anything that helps you have a more productive workout.”
Another fun motivator is to put together an energizing playlist of songs to train to the next morning. You can also cue up a podcast that you’ve been meaning to check out or make a plan to stream an episode of “Scandal” or “Orange is the New Black” while you log your daily half hour on the elliptical.
5. Optimize your sleep
Martin Rawls-Meehan, CEO and chief innovation officer of sleep technology company Reverie, said that a surefire way to get up in time for your morning workout is to follow a consistent sleep schedule. “Try to go to bed at the same time every night, including weekends,” he explained.
Rawls-Meehan also recommended setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep by engaging in a soothing pre-bed activity. “You can’t automatically switch off a stimulated head and fall asleep,” he said. You should also avoid emotionally charged conversations or doing work within an hour of going to sleep. His other tips include meditating before bedtime and keeping your room between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit to promote a more restful sleep.
6. Get your breakfast ready
“If you need to eat something pre-workout, make it at night and have it ready to go so you aren’t spending time cooking in the morning,” said Tatiana Boncompagni, a certified personal trainer with Sculptologie. “I like cold egg whites cooked in coconut oil with cinnamon, right out of the container. You can also do overnight oats with 1/4 banana and a tablespoon of almond butter. Grab and go is the idea!”
7. Preregister for a class
Map out your workout before going to sleep. “If you are going to take a group class, sign up the night before to guarantee your spot and also encourage you to not get the no-show charge,” said Astrid Swan, a celebrity personal trainer and Barry’s Bootcamp instructor.
And if you are planning on doing your own workout, you can still partake in this practice. “Place your morning workout in your calendar as an appointment with yourself to better yourself,” Liang said. “You’ve got an important meeting with you!”
8. Commit to a workout buddy
Research has found that having an exercise partner can go a long way in motivating you to stick with a fitness routine. Pairing up with a pal to hit a pre-work Pilates class can be fun. Plus, if you agree to take a 7 a.m. class together, you’ll be less likely to flake.
You’ve got this.